ness writes about writing

“It has taste.”

Over at Rachel Heffington’s blog there is a monthly Chatterbox event. Basically you take a subject (this month’s is Food) and write a dialogue with your characters – it’s a fun exercise which I very much enjoyed. I present you with three characters from The Many Trials of a Blacksmith and a bowl of … food?

– – – –

“Is it … ?”

“It can’t be.”

“I think,” said Timothy with dawning horror, “that it is.”

They both peered at the bowl’s contents. Custer poked a suspicious floating morsel with his spoon, “This can’t be food.”

“Must have mixed up the cattle feed with yours.”

Custer took a small sniff and clamped a hand to his nose. “Scratch that, they mixed the manure up with mine.”

“It can’t be that bad,” Timothy decided. But then he took a sniff and realized that aye, it was that bad. “It smells worse than a tanner’s.”

“Can I … ?”

Timothy shared an understanding look with Custer. “We could …”

The slam of the door announced the arrival of their hostess. Mistress Rowedge looked down upon them from her lofty height. “Have you finished?”

Timothy slid the bowl over to Custer. “Nay, he hasn’t. Not yet.”

“Eat up then lad – that’s good food. New herb. Recently imported. Cost a pretty penny.”

Both Timothy and Custer doubted the sanity of paying any coin for such a herb.

“Eat.” The voice was firm. No one argued with Mistress Rowedge.

Custer hastily took a mouthful.

“What does it taste like?” Mistress Rowedge inquired.

There was a silence. Custer nodded his head.

“What does that mean?” she asked suspiciously.

“It means that he thinks that it has-“ Timothy searched for an appropriate word “-taste.”

There was a vigorous nodding from Custer.

“Plenty of taste,” elaborated Timothy, warming to his subject. “Buckets of taste.”

Custer’s head was now nodding at an alarming rate.

Mistress Rowedge looked pleased. “Here, let me taste some then – I haven’t tasted it …” she took a spoonful, choked and finished her sentence with a croak, “yet.”

There was an awful silence.

“It has taste.” Mistress Rowedge agreed.